Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Bugs, Aphids and Plant Hoppers >>> Leaf-footed Bug

Leaf-footed Bug

Leptoglossus zonatus

 

Leptoglossus zonatus photo © by Mike Plagens

This bug was found feeding on seed pods of Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) along Camp Creek, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA, Aug. 2008.

Coreidae -- Leaf-footed Bug Family

Leaf-footed Bugs are so named for the expanded, flag-like process on the third pair of legs. There is a whitish zigzag across the center and a pair of yellowish spots on the pronotum. The remainder of the bug is mostly dark brown, almost black. Leaf-footed bugs can produce foul-smelling, repellant chemicals if attacked or disturbed.

A long proboscis is used to pierce into fruits and feed upon the developing seeds. They may introduce pathogens in the process and render the seeds and fruit unviable. They are a frequent pest on pomegranites and other fruits cultivated in the Sonoran Desert. Naturally they may be found on desert willow and other fruiting plants. Leptoglossus zonatus is found across the southern United States and south into Central and South America.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008